welcome and enjoy!

Hi and welcome to my blog about comics from other people’s childhood! It is dedicated primarily to British humour comics of the 60s and 70s. The reason they are not from my childhood is simply because I didn’t live in the UK back then (nor do I live there now). I knew next to nothing about them until fairly recently but since then I’ve developed a strong liking for the medium and amassed a large collection, including a number of complete or near complete sets. My intention is to use this blog as a channel for sharing my humble knowledge about different titles, favourite characters and creators as I slowly research my collection.

QUICK TIP: this blog is a sequence of posts covering one particular comic at a time. The sequence follows a certain logic, so for maximum results it is recommended that the blog is read from the oldest post up.

Copyright of all images and quotations used here is with their respective owners. Any such copyrighted material is used exclusively for educational purposes and will be removed at first notice. All other text copyright Irmantas P.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Nobby's Hobbies. Nobby was a boy who tried all kinds of hobbies but always messed things up and upset his Dad.  Here is the complete list of the hobbies that he had a go at: woodworking, conjuring (“Wizard” hobby), collecting stamps, photography, plumbing, pottery, voice throwing, knitting, calendar making, football (actually getting his football off the rooftop), puppets on a string, archaeology, dressing-up (disguising), winter sport of tobogganing, toy yacht building, making scrapbooks, making plastic models, making toy dogs, fishing, animal tracking, bird watching, keeping fit, making Easter eggs, making money by tape-recording bird sounds, camping, kite-flying, brass rubbing, jigsaws, mechanics, roller-skating, collecting wild flowers, acting, watching tadpoles turn into frogs, catapulting, playing badminton, paper tearing. Phew… 

The strip was drawn by the excellent Frank McDiarmid and ran from 7th November, 1970 until 17th July, 1971 (issue Nos. 23 – 59). It missed just one date during the period (1st May, 1971 (No. 48)). The episode in COR!! issue of 24th April, 1971 (No. 47) was illustrated by Les Barton.

From COR!! issue dated 12th December, 1970  (No. 28)

From COR!! issue dated 29th May, 1971 (No. 52)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Swopper Stan was a strip about a kid who swopped everything for anything with all kinds of humorous consequences. It ran from 12th September, 1970 until 14th April, 1973 (Issues 15 – 150) and didn’t miss a single week during the period. The regular illustrator was Mike Lacey.

From COR!! issue dated 14th Novemner, 1970 (No. 24)

From COR!! issue dated 30th December, 1972 (No. 135 - Christmas edition).
Stan does some swopping with other COR!! characters - Micky Madd, Tricky Dicky,
Chalky and Jasper the Grasper

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Teacher’s Pet was a long-running series in COR!! about an annoying school-girl named Patsy and her never-ending attempts to get into her teacher’s (Miss’) good books. Patsy’s efforts usually backfired and infuriated the teacher, besides she often suffered at the hands of her classmates for being a sneak. Miss’ real name was Miss Fortune and according to the piece of information shared in the Postbag section by the Editor, she’d been trying to change it ever since Patsy joined her class. The strip enjoyed full-colour treatment and often occupied the prime slot on the back of the paper, especially in the early months. It didn’t miss a single week and made 3 front cover appearances in COR!! issues dated 15th December 1973, 9th February 1974 and 11th May, 1974 (Nos. 185, 193 and 206). The artist was Norman Mansbridge but there was also another illustrator who stepped in quite frequently. I don’t know the name but he also drew Boney in Knockout and Whizzer and Chips.

Episode drawn by Norman Mansbridge from COR!! issue dated 12th December, 1970 (No. 28)
Episode by another artist from COR!! issue dated 23rd February, 1974 (No. 195)

This post covers the last feature that appeared in the first issue of COR!! The total number of different strips over the relatively short lifetime of COR!! came to sixty, not counting reader participation features, “guest star” appearances, “cor-medy choice” features and a few series that only appeared in COR!! annuals and specials that I hope to cover in due course. Teacher’s Pet was No. 27 so less than half of the strips have been covered so far.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Mike's Magic Mould was another extremely short-lived feature about a little lad Mike and his lump of magic modelling mould that could change its shape and size.  In part 2 of the article A Line in Chuckles in the Summer 1986 edition of GOLDEN FUN Terry Bave recalled that the idea was conceived by his wife Sheila but had never been taken beyond a simple sketch until Bob Paynter invited the Baves to create the necessary characters for COR!! They submitted the first scripts but having by then committed themselves to taking two other weekly strips in COR!! they reluctantly handed Mike’s Magic Mould over to another artist. I wonder who that artist was?

From COR!! issue dated 20th June, 1970 (No. 3)

Mike's Magic Mould started in the first issue of COR!! and mustered only 12 episodes. It bowed out on 26th September, 1970 (No. 17), having missed the following dates: 25th July 1970, 1st and 22nd August 1970, 5th and 19th September, 1970 (Nos. 8, 9, 12, 14, 16).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Stowaway Steve was a very short-lived series about a boy who always stowed himself away in different places and objects. In all likelihood the editors didn’t think much of the series and stowed it away for good after just eleven episodes. The feature occupied 2/3 of one page (the remaining 1/3 was allocated to Kids’ Problem Column). The last episode appeared on 12th September, 1970 (No. 15). Stowaway Steve missed the following weeks: 8th, 15th and 29th August and 5th September, 1970 (Nos. 10, 11, 13 and 14). It was illustrated by several artists including Mike Lacey and Norman Mansbridge.

From COR!! issue dated 1st August, 1970 (No. 9)

Monday, May 21, 2012


Four Alone on the Abandoned Island was an adventure serial that occupied two pages and lasted from the first issue of COR!! until 31st October, 1970 (issue No. 22). According to a post in Lew Stringer’s excellent blog, it was illustrated by Mike Noble (at least initially). The script-writer was Scott Goodall who wrote all adventure serials for COR!!

The scene was set in a remote part of Northern Wales at the Moordale Medical Research Centre. Three boys (Barry Norton, Fleshpot Farraday (“Fleshpot”) and Beanpole Baines (“Beanpole”) and a girl (Vera Miles) participate in an unusual scientific experiment to study the effects of exercise and controlled diet on children of different physical appearance. The three boys hate each other and keep trying to knock each other about, so scientists send the four on a four-week survival course in the mountains, hoping they might learn to get along. Curious about a strange red glow in the sky, the Four return to civilization and find that Britain has been taken over by weird soggy creatures called Spungees. The aliens are made of sponge and they fire soggy gas-bombs that stun people. The children discover that the landing of the aliens and their fake radiation blanket threat has prompted the government to issue emergency evacuation orders and the whole population has been transported to Europe. Spungees need water to thrive, they plan to flood the whole of Britain and use it as a base to conquer the planet. The Four soon learn how to repel the monsters with fire because Spungees dread heat and dryness. The children find alien HQ in the marshes on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon County. After a long sequence of cliff-hangers and multiple fallings into alien captivity and breakings back into freedom, the Four finally defeat the aliens, first by spilling oil into the river, setting fire to it and burning to death the army of aliens traveling upstream to establish more posts, then by grabbing the king of Spungees and demanding unconditional surrender from the aliens. British Army pilots are amazed to discover that liberation was achieved by four children who become national heroes and celebrities. The four stopped hating each other. They promise to stick together from now on.

From COR!! dated 3rd October, 1970 (No. 18)

IMHO the story suffered from overuse of manufactured cliff-hangers alongside with pointless strife and name-calling between the children. Nonetheless, it was quite an OK adventure serial, particularly in comparison with the sequel …

The second serial ran from 1st May, 1971 until 18th September, 1971 (issue Nos. 48 – 68) and was called Four Alone Fight Formula X. The foursome are sent on a special mission to Castle Blaney Boarding School in the Scottish Highlands to investigate strange reports of rumblings in the night and farmhouses vanishing without a trace. The children find out that Herman Sourkraut, the school science master, has been secretly experimenting with Formula X that makes plants and living creatures turn into giant monsters. His experiments now complete, the evil scientist is ready to strike. Stage one of his sinister plan involves unleashing a swarm of bees that have their feet dipped in Formula X in order to make every plant they land on grow to giant size and cause chaos. Sourkraut’s plan is so cunning and devious that it takes readers and the four children a while to realise that the bee attack on a plant nursery in the village is only a diversion and that the evil scientist’s final mission is, lo and behold! to wreck Britain’s naval power by destroying the top-secret Holyoak Nuclear Submarine Base! Four Alone bravely deal with every giant monster that the evil scientist sends their way. Sourkraut’s plot is finally foiled and Fleshpot prevents him from escaping on board a pinched navy helicopter. The menace of Herman Sourkraut and Formula X is over at last.

From COR!! dated 21st August, 1971 (No. 64)

The quick summary of the plot makes it appear as if it was quite an exciting story to follow but IMHO it would have benefited a lot if the weekly cliff-hangers were just a tiny bit less made-up. To me the script clearly abused the possibility of introducing endless giant monsters many of whom came and went hardly contributing to the development of the story.

The two serials were the only ones that appeared in COR!! weeklies but there were four more stories in COR!! Annuals and one in a COR!! Holiday Special over the years. Here is the list:

COR!! 1972 Annual: Four Alone in the Castle of Fear (8 pages) – the foursome foil the plot of an evil scientist Llewelyn to launch a missile attack on London from his secret base in a crumbling castle in Wales.

COR!! 1973 Annual: Four Alone and the Alpine Adventure (8 pages) – British intelligence sends the Four to an Austrian ski resort on a mission to escort to London a Hungarian scientist who has defected to the West.

COR!! 1974 Annual: Four Alone and the Sky Jackers (8 pages) – Four Alone are on their way to visit Vera’s brother in the Middle East when a gang of terrorists hi-jack the airliner and demand money for their political cause.

COR!! 1975 Holiday Special: Four Alone Beside the Seaside (5 pages) - Four Alone help catch a gang of thieves who pinched plans of a new boat design from Russell Wolf, boat designer. It appears that the episode was illustrated by the same artist who drew Rat Trap and whose name is unknown to me. Here is the last page of the episode:

From COR!! 1975 Holiday Special

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Dogsbodies Academy was a very short series and the only one in COR!! illustrated by Angel Nadal. The feature was about a school for dogs where Mr. Bull-Dog the teacher suffered all kinds of disasters as he tried to give young puppies some useful lessons. Some of the suffering came at the hands of the naughty pupils. A traditional classroom humor strip, except that here it was animals rather than school kids. The series lasted until 14th October, 1970 (issue No. 21) and missed a few weeks towards the end of its modest run – it did not appear on 5th September 1970, 3rd and 10th October 1970 (issue Nos. 14, 18 and 19).

From COR!! dated 15th August, 1970 (No. 11)

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Jeanie and her Genie began in a remote Oriental town where a sweat-shop genie-packer ran out of lamps for packing genies, so he put one in a torch. An English sailor buoght the torch in a souvenir shop and sent it to his niece Jeannie in England as her birthday present. The Genie could be summoned by turning the torch on. He granted Jeanie all sorts of wishes. Being very clumsy, the Genie often found himself in different awkward situations. The short series illustrated by an artist whom I can’t identify lasted from the first issue of COR!! until 31st October, 1970 (issue No. 22).

From COR!! dated 11th July, 1970 (No. 6)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Little Geyser was a story about a kid-geyser and his quest for home. The lovable Little Geyser jumped out of hot springs in New Zealand and landed in the radiator of a tourist car. Separated from his home and Pa Geyser, he set to travel the World. He spent a few episodes on a luxury liner hoping it will take him home to New Zealand but ended up in England instead. There the poor Little Geyser spent some time with a dim English family who thought he was a fountain. Feeling sad and lonely, he tried to find another geyser that he could talk to. Later in the run he forgot all about New Zealand and concentrated on a search for a body of water to call home or simply chill – a pond, a canal, a stream, a sink full of water, a bucket, a soda pop dispenser, a washing machine, anything went. Needless to say his weekly experiments put him in all kinds of humorous situations.

From COR!! issue dated 26th December, 1970 (No. 30)

The feature ran from the first issue until 21st August, 1971 (issue 64) and missed a few weeks towards the end of its run (it did not appear on 19th September 1970, 15th May 1971, 29th May 1971, 19th June – 3rd July 1971, 17th July 1971, 31st July 1971 and 14th August 1971 (issue Nos. 16, 50, 52, 55-57, 59, 61 and 63)). Does anyone recognize the artist?

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Barney’s Brain Box was a series about an absent-minded boy Barney Biggs who was able to concentrate on only one thing at a time. The problem with Barney was that he frequently fell into a state of dopiness. As a result, Barney’s fantasies and daydreams pushed reality to the back of his mind making him forget all about his errands and commitments. COR!! readers could see what went on inside Barney’s head. Barney’s “brainwaves” were portrayed as little creatures (brain-bods) inside his brain box. The conflicting nature of the brainwaves inevitably resulted in battles and humorous clashes between reality “brain-bods” and fantasy “brain bods” as the former struggled to win Barney’s attention back from the latter. To make things even more complicated, the setting kept alternating between reality and Barney’s brain box as goings-on in the real World altered the course of events in Barney’s head. Luckily for Barney, reality “brain-bods” usually prevailed, and just in time for him to avoid trouble

From COR!! dated June 20th, 1970 (No. 3)

The feature only lasted for 31 weeks from the first issue until the first issue of 1971 in which Barney made a New Year resolution to think of only one thing a time and thus put an end to his problems.

The concept of Barney’s Brain Box was similar to that of a number of older UK strips such as The Nervs, Georgie’s Germs, Numskulls, maybe even Buster’s Daydreams, but it was a scrumptious feature nonetheless. The short-lived series occupied two pages (except in the issues dated 11th July 1970, 15th August 1970 and 3rd October 1970 (Nos. 5, 11 and 18) where it was 1 and ½ pages long). It was illustrated by several artists such as Mike Lacey and Tony Goffe, but the majority of the episodes were by the unconfirmed illustrator who drew Football Madd and some other strips in COR!!, Peter Davidson perhaps?

From COR!! dated 8th August, 1970 (No. 10)

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Freddie Fang the Werewolf Cub - he does a bad deed every day. Another nice series in COR!! from the hand of IPC’s prolific artist Reg Parlett. Obeying the orders of his evil Werewolf Scoutmaster, Freddie Fang has to play foul and do a bad deed every day but always fails because his attempts keep resulting in good deeds or backfiring on himself or the Scoutmaster. Later in the run Freddie Fang became a willing accomplice and perpetrator of bad deeds, very eager to earn his bad conduct badge. 

Both Freddie's parents were normal human beings, nothing was said about when and how he became a werewolf and there was no apparent reason why the editors wanted him to be one. The only explanation I can think of is that it was because of the Scoutmaster: it would have been strange for a normal scoutmaster to act as the instigator of Freddie’s evil deeds. He had to be made something sinister so IPC scriptwriters decided to portray both main characters as werewolves.

The series ran for 112 weeks from the first issue until 22nd July, 1972 (No. 112).

From COR!! issue dated 29th August, 1970 (No. 13)

From COR!! issue dated 28th November, 1970  (No. 26)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Spoilsport was about an evil-minded fellow who never played the game. Nobody’s gonna have any fun while he’s around: he derives his pleasure from spoiling things, sports and games for other people but always suffers in the end. It was illustrated by Graham Allen who contributed quite a few strips during COR’s!! 4-year run. Spoilsport continued from the first issue until 22nd July, 1972 (No. 112) with a few gaps towards the end of its run. It missed the following dates: 26th February, 1972 – 25th March, 1972 (Nos. 92 – 95), 8th and 15th April, 1972 (Nos. 97 and 98), 20th and 27th May, 1972 (Nos. 103 and 104) and 8th July, 1972 (No. 110).

From COR!! issue dated 25th July, 1970 (No. 8)

From COR!! issue dated 7th November, 1970 (No. 23)

Monday, May 7, 2012


Andy’s Ants belonged to the elite club of COR!! strips that started in the first issue and lasted throughout the entire 4-year run of the paper. It told weekly adventures of a boy named Andy and the army of ants whom he befriended and could converse with.

The first episode in COR!! No. 1

The feature was created and illustrated by Terry Bave who shared his memories about the strip in part 2 the article A Line in Chuckles in the Summer 1986 edition of Golden FUN. Originally the Baves conceived the idea for Whizzer and Chips but it wasn’t developed properly. It involved a boy character with a collection of weird insect pets and was code-named Ivan’s Insects. The idea had been sparked off by the fact that one of Baves’ young “fans” collected all kinds of creepy crawlies. After some thought they altered the basic idea and came up with Andy’s Ants which involved a lad with an army of pet ants. The Baves wrote the initial script, Terry Bave then roughed-out an introduction page and submitted it to Bob Paynter for consideration. The editor liked the idea very much and gave Terry Bave the go-ahead for the artwork. The feature was approved for the new comic with IPC script writers supplying the weekly scripts. Andy’s Ants proved very popular with COR!! readers. The illustrator reminisced that the feature was a great fun to draw, especially when the script called for a large number of ants to appear. I remember reading somewhere that Bob Paynter was particularly fond of large numbers of ants and often told art assistants to add more of them to the original artwork.

From COR!! issue dated 26th August, 1972 (No. 117)

The strip was a black-and white one-pager but starting from issue 143 quite a few of the episodes were in full colour. Andy’s Ants also made 4 front cover colour appearances on 14th July 1973, 29th September 1973, 2nd February 1974 and 6th April 1974 (issue Nos. 163, 174, 192 and 201).

The strip was revived as a new series Adam and his Ants in WOW! comic in the early 80s.

From COR!! dated 23rd March, 1974 (No. 199)

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Wally and Olly. The series was about the World’s brainiest owl Olly and the World’s dimmest mouse Wally. The cunning Olly plotted all kinds of violent schemes involving explosives, chemical substances, sharp cutlery, mallets, trap holes, catapults, you name it, so as to eat the silly mouse. The schemes always backfired on the wicked owl. A lot like Tom and Jerry stuff, only here the mouse was an ignorant nitwit. It was another short-lived feature that started in the first issue and was dropped by the end of the first year: the last episode appeared on 17th October, 1970 (issue No. 20).

First episode from COR!! issue No. 1

I don’t know who the illustrator was but it looks like it was the work of one of those artists to whom historians of British comics usually refer as ‘European’. This has always puzzled me a bit, because when I was in school my Geography teacher taught us that Britain was also part of Europe…

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Kid Chameleon and the Mystery of the Old Gondola (5 weeks from 1st January, 1972 until 29th January, 1972, issue Nos. 83 – 87)
Walking the streets of Venice, Kid Chameleon sees a sack thrown into the canal out of the window and it turns out there’s a human being inside. Kid rescues a skinny boy by the name of Pietro Spogetti and finds out that the fat man who has just tried to get rid of him was the boy's uncle Mario. Kid Chameleon teaches Mario a lesson by kicking him down the stairs. Kid thinks he has done a good deed, but the boy tells him he has only made things much worse: the uncle is very powerful because he owns many gondolas and makes much money. The boy only has one gondola left to him by his father and he works very hard to make a living. Mario has tried to buy the boy out because he wanted to have all gondolas but Pietro refused, so now Mario beats and bullies him every day. Now that Kid has beaten Mario, he has made things much worse for poor Pietro. At that very moment the two boys are confronted by Mario’s friends who threaten to beat them up. Kid Camouflages himself and defeats the thugs but amidst the commotion, Mario tows Pietro’s gondola away: 

From COR!! issue dated 15th January, 1972 (No. 85)
Kid dives into the canal and goes after Mario in order to force him tell the truth why he wants the old gondola so badly. Mario disappears in the traffic of the Grand Canal but Kid finds him again with the help of his lizard friends. Mario has brought the gondola to the edge of a lagoon on the outskirts of the city and started breaking it up with his axe. Having smashed the prow of Pietro’s gondola, Mario retrieves some precious paper but Kid grabs it from his hand. The paper has drawings of a gondola that can make man a fortune. Pietro can now develop his Dad’s gondola while Mario pays for his crimes in a prison cell. Kid’s quest continues.

Kid Chameleon Enters for the European Cross-Country Race (6 weeks from 5th February, 1972 until 11th March, 1972, issue Nos. 88 – 93)
Kid reaches the Italian city of Pisa. He witnesses some posh English youngsters pester a poor artist. Kid intercedes for the poor old fellow and the bullies begin ridiculing him. The artist tells him they are English schoolboys entered for the European cross-country race and the big one is Clive Smythe, British Schools’ Champion, the favourite in the race. The bullies have more fun at Kid’s expense when they persuade him to hold the leaning tower of Pisa so it doesn’t fall. Kid becomes really furious for being made a fool. At first it looks as if the snobbish Clive is going to have the upper hand thanks to his judo skills, but Kid plays his own game and Clive ends up in a fountain. The bullies chase Kid but they are not fast enough. Frank Carter, the sports’ master in charge of the four British boys, is fascinated because Kid has just outrun his best athletes: 

From COR!! issue dated 12th February, 1972 (No. 89)
Carter offers to enter Kid for the European Cross-country race. Kid agrees because he sees it as a chance to beat Clive, but Clive’s plan is to put Kid out of the race. On the day of the race Clive spills some drawing pins on the track. Kid injures his bare feet and goes through a lot of pain and trouble before he finally wins the race with the help of his lizard friends.

Kid Chameleon Brings the Murderer to Justice (5 weeks from March 18th, 1972 until 15th April, 1972, issue Nos. 94 – 98)
Kid crosses the border from Italy into Switzerland. He slips down the slope and crashes into the bottom of a fat school-teacher who is out on a nature ramble with her pupils. The lady smacks him on the head with a newspaper for hitting her and calling her fat. Kid can’t believe his eyes because the newspaper has a photograph of the man he is after. Kid asks the teacher to read the report and learns that the man on the photo is an Englishman and well-known international thief called Matthew Blain. He is now trapped by the police on the upper slopes of a mountain known as the White Tower. Kid arrives at the foot of the mountain and discovers it is all sealed-off by the police. Using his talents, Kid slips past the cordon and reaches the upper slopes. After a lot of shooting and a mountain slide Kid attacks Blain and renders him powerless. The boy demands to know the truth about his parents’ death and Blain tells the story:

Final episode of Kid Chameleon in COR!! issue dated 15th April, 1972 (No. 98)

And that was the end of the tale about Kid Chameleon (a.k.a. Gavin Webb as we now know).

Kid Chameleon’s adventures weren’t limited to COR!! weeklies. Two short stories also appeared in the annuals – 1972 COR!! annual and an obscure BIRTHDAY BOOK FOR BOYS 1972.

The scene of the 6-pager in COR!! 1972 annual is set in East Africa. Kid Chameleon saves Jill Carter and her Dad’s money from the wicked crooks Trent and the Carnival Strongman Samson who are plotting to escape with the takings of the carnival. The episode was illustrated by a different artist but I can’t identify who. Here's a sample page:

The episode in the BIRTHDAY BOOK FOR BOYS 1972 was 8 pages long. Kid Chameleon is in a small East African town where he foils the plans of Baxter and his accomplice Basher who have disguised themselves as artists to rob the local bank. Illustrated by Ian Kennedy. Here are the last two pages of the short story: